Botting vs grinding

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First of all what is botting: it’s when players are not playing the game themselves but let their machine do the job by scripts.

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Botting isn’t only done by lazy players, but also by gold sellers that use the botting machines for generating income which than can be sold to players. It’s also used in leveling services.

Game producers (mainly MMO’s we are talking about in here ofcourse), are not so happy with this, for it will ruin economy among a lot of other things and so are actively fighting this with anti bot scripts.

Why’s botting bad?
– The economy would be bad for normal players, when bots place high amounts of items and materials on the market- You get a world with players that aren’t real
– The social aspect is gone, players might not respond because they are bots.
– The reason why they bot (gold selling) generates a lot of spam on the game chat and email.

Every game fights it differently. Today I will focus on Guild Wars 2’s anti botting techniques, because they have recently applied a patch that even seems to affect normal players, even though they advertise it would only affect the bots. At first, Guild Wars 2 allows players to trade diamonds for gold and gold for diamonds. This could have stopped the gold farming a little, but prices have only been rising, meaning that people haven’t really bothered with that.This could have prevented the huge amounts of gold being sold. It didn’t however keep them away long enough.

Secondary most games use some sort of detection scripts on the server side to check whether uncommon behaviour is happening with the player (too much of the same action in a certain amount of time, or players running into objects, behaving like robots etc).

Guild Wars 2 has also added the so called Diminishing Returns (DR). They were designed to make sure that dungeons wouldn’t be done over and over again to gain the best loot.Recently Arenanet published a change in the code that makes sure that it also stops pve grinding.

What does Diminishing Returns (DR) do?
DR was originally designed to be character limited in dungeons, just so that you wouldn’t endless run the same dungeon the whole day. Yes you can still run the same dungeon the whole day, but the loot just doesn’t give you enough to make it worth it. DR is basicly limiting you in what you can loot and when. It’s an extra layer on top of the chance drop loot tables.DR is working nowadays account-based, meaning that switching between your characters after a grind session where you walked into the DR limiter, that other character will get the same effects.DR in dungeons triggers as soon as you completed the dungeon before and you are completling it now again or if you manage to complete the dungeon under the 30 minutes.
It works with points that are given to the player upon completing a dungeon, certain tresholds will trigger reduced rewards.

The rewards that are affected by this system are:
– Coins
– Dungeon Tokens
– Experience- Karma

In the recent patch (last week) ArenaNet also included some sort of DR in one of the ingame areas that are so popular for grinding: Orr.
The result is, next to a very angry and annoyed group of players, that also ‘normal’ grinding players will take notice of this. Killing the same (type of) mob over and over again, won’t give you the same rewards.
What about magic find?Magic find still works fine. A higher Magic Find rate will still work or affect the gameplay, but the droprates have tremendously decreased.

Another feature they added which has not so much to do with bots perhaps, is that rare’s (yellow items) and so on do seem to drop in a special designed small chest. I haven’t really understood that to be honest.Note that there are still chances for the item to drop from a random mob in the game, instead of only the special chests with loot.
I really hope they will revise the new DR system on normal gameplay as anti botting strategy shouldn’t be affecting the player the way it is right now.

Let’s hope for a new patch that gives some new features along with a permanent fix that will keep the players interested to play the game.

Game on!

Steven

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